Stage 2 - Feeding the cake:
This stage of my Christmas cake making was pretty simple - feed your cake. I made an alcohol free cake, not for any reason apart from the fact that I didn't have any brandy in the house and also loooove the flavour of earl grey.
I dribbled a tablespoon of earl grey over the cake once a week for the 3 weeks prior to Christmas.
Stage 2 done.
Stage 3 - Decorating the cake (the fun bit!):
I cheated with decorating the cake and have to admit that I made neither the Marzipan nor the Royal Icing. I bought both from ASDA and am hoping (having never made a Christmas cake before)that these are as tasty as if I had made them.
To get the marzipan to stick to the cake, and add an extra bit of Christmas flavour, heat a bit of marmalade mixed with water and brush this all over the cake.
I love the marzipan layer on an Xmas cake and have heard a good way to add a bit more is to cover the cake in a thin layer, but then add another disc of marzipan just to the top of the cake.
Once the marzipan is on it's time for the icing and making things look pretty. I'm not a fan of royal icing so I rolled mine as thin as possible.
A tip for the marzipan and Icing - once you have rolled it out, fold it over your rolling pin to lift it over the cake as this will prevent it from stretching too much as you lift it.
You can make your decorations as simple or extravagant as you want. I went simple this year for my first year, with just thin icing snowflakes, glued into place with marmalade.
Christmas cake - Done!